The truth about Naya Rivera and Demi Lovato’s relationship

Glee alum Naya Rivera went missing on July 8, 2020, after spending the afternoon at Lake Piru, a body of water in Southern California. The singer had rented a pontoon boat with her young son, Josey Dorsey, who she shares custody of with her ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey, one the day of her appearance. TMZ reported that Rivera was declared missing after they found her life vest-clad son alone on the boat, with the star nowhere in sight. Josey reportedly said that he saw his mom jump in the water, but she never returned. As of this writing, authorities say the “Sorry” singer is presumed dead.

Countless celebrities have shared their reaction to the news, including Rivera’s ex-fiance Big Sean, who “liked” several tweets hoping for her safe return, ET Online noted. Demi Lovato also posted about Rivera’s disappearance in an Instagram Story, writing, “Please pray for @nayarivera to be found safe and sound,” along with a photo of a lit candle, Elle reported.

As of this writing, Lovato and Rivera do not follow each other on Instagram. However, they do know each other as Lovato guest-starred on Glee in 2013, playing a woman named Dani, who ended up dating Rivera’s character, Santana. Although it’s unclear how close these two been in recent years, they got along very well back in the day, supporting each other both personally and professionally.

Demi Lovato and Naya Rivera's on-screen romance

In August 2013, news broke that Demi Lovato was joining the Glee cast to play Naya Rivera’s on-screen love interest. Soon after, Rivera told MTV News, “I mean, she’s playing my love interest, so I’m very, very excited about that.”

Not only did Lovato’s character — Dani — date Santana Lopez, but she also sang a few tunes. Rivera said the time, “We’re bringing her to the dark side. Well, she comes in in a Beatles episode, so [we’re singing] a Beatles song. I’m excited.” The pair ended up harmonizing on the Beatles song “Here Comes the Sun.” A month later, MTV News reported that, in an interview with Ryan Seacrest, Lovato described the Glee set as a “giant hangout environment,” saying she had already been friends with some of the cast members before filming.

The Disney alum shared about the role, “What I want people to take away from this isn’t, ‘Oh my god, Demi is kissing a girl, like this is crazy’ or whatever; I want people to take from it [that] this is actually an incredible step in our generation today where I’m able to play a young lesbian on prime time TV.”

Rivera also raved in an interview with Yahoo‘s The Yo Show, “She’s just such a pleasure and a joy to have on set. She’s funny and sweet and so talented.” Lovato had similar praise, telling MTV News that they “had an awesome time working together.”

Demi Lovato and Naya Rivera supported one another

One year before Demi Lovato appeared on Glee in 2013, Naya Rivera geeked out, tweeting, “Just bought @ddlovato version of ‘give your heart a break’ because of Glee. I love this song, her voice is so cool!” Although the women didn’t know each other at that time, once they did, Lovato complimented Rivera on her single “Sorry.” According to Yahoo, Rivera said, “She texted me two days ago and was like, ‘Your song, like, I’m obsessed. … Will you send it to me?’ I was like, ‘No way — you know good music. That’s such a good compliment.” 

Aside from personally praising Rivera, Lovato gave the song a public shout out when she tweeted, “Obsessed with my girlfriend’s song ‘sorry’ out today!!! Love you @NayaRivera.” Lovato loved it so much that she also included the song and a track from Rivera’s then-boyfriend Big Sean called “Mona Lisa” on her Neon Lights tour playlist. In addition to praising the Rivera and Big Sean’s music, she even paid to listen to it, with Rivera tweeting, “My girlfriend @ddlovato just bought my boyfriend’s album.”

Although it is evident that Lovato and Rivera got along very well while they filmed their storyline for Glee, it’s unclear if they continued their friendship past that point. Nonetheless, it was thoughtful of Lovato to encourage her followers to pray for Rivera’s safe return home following her disappearance.

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